Wayward San Francisco mountain lion captured after being found in tree – SF Gate

A mountain lion was captured in San Francisco on Wednesday night and is in the care of the Oakland Zoo.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said data collected from the puma’s radio collar revealed this is the same animal spotted roaming city streets in the past two days. 

The mountain lion was found in a tree on Santa Marina and Mission streets on the west side of Bernal Heights, about two blocks from Holly Park, according to San Francisco Animal Care and Control. 

Animal Care and Control was the first on the scene and posted an image of the animal in the tree on social media. Capt. Amy Corso coordinated with the San Francisco Police Department to establish a safe perimeter.

Fish and Wildlife officers arrived next and darted the animal in the hindquarters with a tranquilizer.

KCBS reported the lion got woozy and fell asleep on the front porch of a nearby home before officers tagged and caged it. 

San Francisco resident Ken Shelf was on a walk with his wife in the neighborhood when he noticed the Animal Care and Control van and police cars.

“We stopped and somewhat kiddingly asked them if they were out looking for the lion and they told us yes, it was currently in the tree,” said Shelf, who snapped the photo of the puma in the tree that was shared by the agency on social media. “I felt frightened, but also somewhat giddy to have the worlds collide in this fashion, a beautiful beast like that, living in the wild, yet wandering the city at night, looking for something to do, and possibly a bite to eat — just like the rest of us.”

A mountain lion was captured in San Francisco on May 19, 2021.

A mountain lion was captured in San Francisco on May 19, 2021.

Quinn Klaiman

“The sedated lion was taken to the Oakland Zoo for evaluation and will probably be released in a more suitable location later today,” said Deb Campbell, a spokesperson for Animal Care and Control.

The Oakland Zoo added in a statement that the mountain lion is a large, healthy male of about 100 pounds. The animal was met by hospital staff at the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital at about 1 a.m. Thursday.

A mountain lion has been seen in Bernal Heights and the Portola District in the past two days. Earlier this week, a resident in the Portola District captured footage of the animal with a home security camera.

Pumas in search of new habitat and hunting territory occasionally wander into San Francisco from San Mateo County. Over the years, there have been occasional sightings, usually around Lake Merced, but typically the animals quickly realize they don’t want to be in the city and head back south.

Last June, a juvenile puma was captured in the SoMa neighborhood.

Fish and Wildlife estimates 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions live in California.

Animal Care and Control, Fish and Wildlife and the Oakland Zoo were not immediately available to comment on this story. 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply